Washington securities attorney Neil Carr is one person a Taoyuan District Court judge in Taiwan would like to question. Carr became a man of interest regarding the establishment of the Taiwan Civil Government Foundation registered in the District of Columbia. Carr’s possible role surfaced during questioning by Judge Yi-Shan Yao at a recent preliminary hearing for Julian Lin, accused of fraudulently deceiving members of Taiwan Civil Government.
Taiwan’s seven decades of political purgatory have left it administered by the Republic of China in-exile, without a seat in the United Nations, and forced to compete in the Olymics as Chinese Taipei. The unresolved status of the island long called Formosa has spawned a rainbow of Taiwanese independence groups and political parties. The pro-American TCG is one of the most vocal and controversial with its advocacy for a temporary United States military government to expel the Chinese. ROC prosecutors claim instead that TCG leaders are an organized crime ring to exploit money from gullible group members.
When Lin was asked by the judge about TCG identity cards her answer involved the Taiwan Civil Government Foundation which was to be linked to the identity cards through a Bank of America account. The purpose was to create an identification system for Taiwanese to conduct banking in America. Lin was an authorized signatory for the foundation and pointed out she was added to an existing account. The Bank of America account is confirmed by a foundation report to the Internal Revenue Service which included bank service fees.
Lin explained she would make payments to attorneys and public relations companies for their professional fees. Lin told the judge that because the United States has strict regulations for handling funds an “American lawyer” took her to the bank to add her signature to the account.
Tax records for the foundation reveal payments to Neil Carr’s law firm Babirak & Carr. There was also a September 2014 speaking tour in Taiwan for TCG where Carr was entertained and paraded around. Carr made the trip with crony Scott Bloch, a disgraced Bush Administration attorney, where Carr was given a seat at the weekly TCG round table meeting. Presumably Carr’s activity for Taiwan Civil Government, headed by Roger Lin also facing fraud charges, was proper and legal. Carr has declined comment.
Neil Carr is a managing partner at Somertons. Carr’s caseload includes business, corporate, finance, securities, mergers, acquisitions, international transactions, and the foreign corrupt practices act. Carr is in position to have been the “American lawyer” that helped Julian Lin with her banking.
The TCG Foundation was formed in 2010, although did not file its first tax return as a tax-exempt organization until 2013. The primary purpose for the exemption was “protection of the human rights of the people of Taiwan.”
The foundation underwent a name change to Taiwan Civil Government Foundation, Inc. and filed with the Internal Revenue Service as a Political Organization. The filing noted an expenditure of $12,000 for identification cards. The foundation also paid Neil Carr’s law firm Babirak & Carr a tidy sum of $17,301.03 for “professional fees.”
The first report to IRS as a tax-exempt organization reported an expenditure of $58,000 for identification cards. The report stated that approximately 10,000 cards were issued to the “people of Taiwan to identify their legitimate status as the real people of Taiwan.” It cannot be determined from the tax filings if the $12,000 amount is part of the $58,000 expense or in addition.
The foundation’s primary business was apparently to handle the issuance of TCG identity cards. The foundation’s registration in the District of Columbia has since been revoked and it is unknown what became of the Bank of America account. Answers to questions about TCG finances are hard to come by in the face of a pending fraud trial.
Neil Carr may want to think twice before scheduling a vacation trip to Taiwan. Now that Roger Lin is out on bail the exiled Republic of China has an extra punishment cell available. If ROC prosecutors level charges against Carr, being a high-rolling lawyer would make him a flight risk which could qualify Carr for some nasty pre-trial detention.